The population in Taiwan is aging, and it is becoming a significant challenge for us to use limited resources to take care of all the older adults. Many home-bound older adults receive inadequate care, the majority of whom receive their prescription medications only through family members’ or caregivers’ visits to the physicians on their behalf. These risky and inadequate health care patterns were recognized by National Health Insurance Administration in Taiwan, which initiated a pilot integrated home medical care program last year to enable and reimburse physicians and health care teams to provide medical care in patients’ homes. The essential components of this program include: physicians who play active roles by performing house-call visits and directing the care provided by the interdisciplinary team; availability of the team 24 hours a day/7 days a week; establishment of palliative/end-of-life care as needed. A primary goal of the program is to reduce rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Our objective was to hold an international symposium that highlights and facilitates the exchanges of experiences and successes in integrated home medical care programs in Japan (which precedes Taiwan in developing such a program by about a decade) and Taiwan, and transitional care programs in the U.S., and evaluate feedbacks received from attendees.
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